An editorial last week in the Binghamton-based Press & Sun-Bulletin wants to know exactly how Tyre, NY - where Wilmorite is seeking to build their Lago Resort & Casino despite concerted opposition in the town - got involved in the competition for the Southern Tier license in the first place.
The rub here is that — as stupid and suspicious as it sounds — the state for casino licensing purposes has chosen to define the "Southern Tier" to include Seneca County, taking the Tier all the way north to Lake Ontario.Indeed, here's the map of the regions, with what the Gaming Commission deems to be the "Eastern Southern Tier" shaded in pink.
Why? you might ask. What were they thinking?
All definitions of the Southern Tier of New York state say Tier counties roughly run along the northern border of Pennsylvania. Empire State Development, the state's chief economic development agency, defines the Southern Tier as Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins counties.
Darned if we know what went on.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited Binghamton on Nov. 6, 2013 — the day after the casino amendment passed handily, with 57 percent of the vote, and received overwhelming support from Southern Tier counties....The governor spoke behind a podium reading: "Funding for Schools ... Jobs for the Southern Tier."Hmm, seems as if the governor was quite busy blowing a lot of hot air all around the state on Nov 6, 2013. That was the same day that the governor visited Sullivan County in a similarly triumphant mode, declaring how the coming casinos would "fundamentally change the economy of the Catskills." To those in the southern Southern Tier who agree with this editorial page's exhortation that "we need that casino," Tyre is their spoiler equivalent of Orange County.
We're asking the state and, specifically, Cuomo to hold true to that promise.
After New York voters approved four upstate casinos last November, four Atlantic City casinos have closed, gambling profits plunged from Connecticut to Mississippi, and new casinos opened or were greenlighted in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts....That increasingly unsettled, crowded market has casino developers and gambling opponents alike speculating that state regulators may award three licenses instead of the four authorized in the 2013 referendum. [Times Herald-Record]Should that be the case (and assuming that each region would get one....which does not necessarily have to be so), I would have to believe that the Catskills/Hudson Valley license would go to an operator in the Catskills (probably the Montreign/Adelaar project at The Concord). It just has never seemed possible to me that the Catskills would get completely shut out here; I've been thinking in terms of one for Adelaar (the only developer who said they'd still build should a license go to Orange County), and one perhaps in Newburgh. If the board is getting concerned about competition, the Catskills region is further isolated at least from the present racino at Yonkers and a future one at the Meadowlands than are the Orange County locations further south. (As well as from Philly, about to add a second casino.) However, on the other hand, if the board is instead thinking in terms of trying to get the jump on the Meadowlands, then maybe they are indeed thinking about an Orange location. In that case, they could be tempted by the big prize - Genting's outlandish and outrageous proposal at Tuxedo, complete with its $380 million bribe. Though, having said that, I don't believe Genting will get a license there.....they're messing with environmental groups and that project therefore carries the threat of being tied up in the courts for years.
So, we await the location board's next meeting on Friday. I think it's 50/50, at best, that the announcement comes at that time.